I Could’ve Shouted Stop
My youngest son has it now, four pine chairs
and the matching table with two insert
leaves. We usually used it without leaves,
four people, which was how many we were
when the boys were young. But now the youngest
of them has a place of his own, a wife,
and possession of that table with those
four pine chairs. For years that table rested
flat on the beams of the garage, the chairs
used in bedrooms or as extra seating
for guests, so when we decided it
was time for it to have a new life, it
also seemed right that it be refurbished.
Sanded smooth and new varnish brushed across
its yellowed grain. The electric sander
dutifully spinning, turning surfaces
to dust. And then I saw small tight looping
script linked from front to back, connecting four
well practiced, round shaped letters scratched
deeply by the tight-held pressure of a pen –
Right there in the wood, my youngest son’s name.
Four letters. Cursive. Finger-strangled. John.
And the sander kissed and caressed each mark,
turning the momentous strokes to dust.
I could’ve shouted ‘Stop’, but –
Written for Margo’s Tuesday Tryout